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Letters from the Front

Now that E3 has settled and we’re back to our regular scheduled programming, I wanted to take a moment to sit back and let the ashes of E3 rain over me and settle into a post-E3 world in where we learned a lot about the future of Xbox and what Microsoft is doing for the brand. As a primarily Xbox gamer, I was left dissatisfied with the overall conference but left the conference feeling optimistic about the future of the brand.

There was a lot of information regarding their efforts for the brand, but most notably, we learned about the future. Project Scarlett was outed last year but this is the first time that Microsoft has acknowledged the Scarlett codename and while it is still unclear that we’re going to be getting 2 consoles in the form of what Microsoft did this generation, Scarlett exists and it’s very beefy. 8K resolutions, 120 frames per second, the elimination of loading times and reduction of loading screens, and a more PC-like approach to consoles.

I wanted to sit down and discuss what we took away from their press conference. Let’s delve into it.

The Future of Xbox

The industry is always in constant flux. Change is always happening as with everything else in the world. Ray-tracing technology has been a huge thing in the industry since its introduction with the RTX graphic cards last year and streaming machines like Google Stadia, Project xCloud, and Orion has the potential to change things up.

Sony recently said in an interview that they weren’t sure if the next generation Playstation would be the last. I wondered if Microsoft had the same thought process regarding Project Scarlett and it doesn’t seem that way which is good. There will always be a need for local hardware and having the option of expanding the platform to give us, the consumers, the choice to play anywhere and at anytime, seems like a good choice. The future of the brand looks bright if you look through that lense.

PC Gaming

Microsoft has given PC Gaming the finger for a good number of years. Remember GWL or their resilience to not give PC Gaming the time of day? That is changing now with Phil Spencer at the helm.

Microsoft enabled Win32 support for the Microsoft Store, which allows developers to move their games across Steam and GOG to a storefront that supports Win32. On top of that, Microsoft is giving PC Gaming the time of day and sitting down with us and chatting which is a big turnaround from several years ago and we now have Game Pass for PC which will do wonders for us on the PC platform. Microsoft is actually giving us the attention that we desperately craved for so long.

2020: A Chance to Relaunch the Brand and the Promise of Scarlett

2013 was a rough year for Microsoft which caused them the generation and the war. 2020 and Project Scarlett has the potential to relaunch the brand and a chance for a fresh start, we’ve certainly seen the effort in recent years. A return to PC Gaming, bringing Backwards Compatibility to the Xbox One in the form of Xbox 360 and OG Xbox games, a huge investment in first party and recommitting to the idea of exclusives might just do the trick. I am for one, excited to see where Xbox is headed in the next generation.

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